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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, I'm a landscape contractor in Northern Iowa. Currently preparing for a nice backyard project this spring where we will be building an 18x18 pavilion. We're hoping to start doing all the cutting of the rafters and 8x8's / 8x12's in the shop so when it comes time to build, it's just a matter of hauling everything over and putting it together.

I'm curious if anyone has had any experience cutting the seat cut in 4x stock. We have the 16" makita beam saw but the cuts have to be perfect as they will be exposed. Looked at the festool jigsaw as I've heard that they keep square, but still question using a jigsaw. One thing I was looking at was the portable De Walt bandsaws. They come with a bi-metal blade but have found several places that can custom make 4 tpi blades to any size.

Any suggestions would be appreciated, thanks
 

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Talking Head
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I think it could be a bit challenging to keep the cuts square with a portaband saw unless you used a guide. Is there any reason you can't just score your cuts with a razor before you use the beam saw to prevent tearout?
 

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stacker of sticks
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Id probably make a jig for the out feed table for the band saw. Screw a 2x to the table on each side of the rafter making a slot for it to side at the correct angle. Test it out a a few times with some scrap 2x8 to make sure it's perfect
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think it could be a bit challenging to keep the cuts square with a portaband saw unless you used a guide. Is there any reason you can't just score your cuts with a razor before you use the beam saw to prevent tearout?
I should add that I'm really looking at the bandsaw as a way to cut all the way to the corner without having to use anything else. I questioned the ability to keep cuts square with the portaband as well. May end up having to get as far as I can with the beam saw and finish off with a handsaw.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Oliver-Machine-O-M-Portable-Bandsaw-Model-12M-Super-Condition-/221372754221?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item338ad8292d Seen this on ebay and looks like it would do a decent job of staying square, but $1200 for 11 rafters seems like a bit much at this point.
 

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The way we do them is to lay out your cut lines. Cut them with a normal circular saw on the lines. Finish the cuts with a saws all, being careful not to mar the finished side of the cut. Don't let the blade come out the opposite side of the cut. Depending on the application we then scarf out the back of the cuts and sand finish edges if req'd. We have done beams that weighed 1500 lbs and had to have a crane flip them so we could cut the other side. Basically timber framing technique. Practice on a scrap first. We can get very accurate cuts this way. We have tried the beam saw, not very accurate with the large blade. Bandsaw isn't any use to you on large material that you have to manhandle. Good luck.
 

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Talking Head
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Don't ask me why but I was thinking of a Prazi when you said beam saw. Hence my comment about scoring for tearout. If you prep the cuts a Prazi might do the trick. I've been thinking about getting one for cutting stringer stacks. Some of the folks on here can probably weigh in on them.

A clamp on guide would line up your beam saw cuts, no problem, but you'd still have to finish the cuts with another tool.
 

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stacker of sticks
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fjn said:
Pretty cool saw. What makes it better than a prazi add on to a worm drive ?
It goes on a track, and I guess the bar is supposed to be stiffer then the prazi. But last time I checked you can't get it in north America
 

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It goes on a track, and I guess the bar is supposed to be stiffer then the prazi. But last time I checked you can't get it in north America




I do not own a Prazi however,I read the reviews on Amazon. They were mixed reviews,some thought it was greatest thing next to sliced bread,others were a tad disenchanted with its performance.
 

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Pretty cool saw. What makes it better than a prazi add on to a worm drive ?
The prazi sucks. It isn't accurate and isn't very powerful. A skill motor just isn't enough to push that chain bar through anything large.

That Fes saw self-oils which seems pretty cool. That actually might help a lot. The prazi doesn't.

I would take a look at that "head cutter" by Bigfoot tools. It's a plate attachment for a chainsaw. It would self oil, obviously, and would have the balls to cut the timber of your choice. I've seen that Tim Ulher guy using it for gang cutter rafters. It seems pretty effective.

-Nate
 

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stacker of sticks
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Eldon said:
The prazi sucks. It isn't accurate and isn't very powerful. A skill motor just isn't enough to push that chain bar through anything large. That Fes saw self-oils which seems pretty cool. That actually might help a lot. The prazi doesn't. I would take a look at that "head cutter" by Bigfoot tools. It's a plate attachment for a chainsaw. It would self oil, obviously, and would have the balls to cut the timber of your choice. I've seen that Tim Ulher guy using it for gang cutter rafters. It seems pretty effective. -Nate
I have one, worth every cent.

I don't have a prazi and the reviews is what scared me away
 

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Artist and not a curator
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While I wouldn't try to rip 4x with the carvex, cutting birds mouths should be pretty damn accurate in 4x material. Its one of the big reasons I went to is because the Bosch just couldn't stay straight.
 

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I am talking about a portable bandsaw. The most popular ones are Hema / Oliver / Mafell. We have the Mafell and love it and use it for numerous things. I will see if I can get some photos showing the process. You guys would be surprised how clean and accurate these portable bandsaws are, especially the Mafell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I watched a few videos on Festool's Carvex jigsaws. They look pretty impressive keeping a square cut on even 4x material. Might have to stop by the local dealer and try one out. We build quite a few pergolas every season and could see it getting used a lot if it keeps true.
 
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